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Rating:Odd Lots December 8, 1999 Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, December 08, 1999

Odd Lots December 8, 1999

Reported by Hayley Green

A hot turnaround in Latin America
From The Wall Street Journal
Latin American mutual funds gained 4.01% for the week ended Thursday, the second best performance of all sectors tracked by Lipper Inc. The best performer was China funds, up 4.33%. The strong showing pushed the typical Latin American fund's year-to-date gain to a robust 38.36%, compared with the average 38.21% loss in 1998. Economists and fund managers expect a continued turnaround in the first half of next year to rival what the Asian markets have done for U.S. mutual fund investors this year may be in store; the average Pacific Region fund has gained 65.88% since Dec. 31.

Citigroup and State Street form retirement venture
From The Wall Street Journal
Citigroup Inc. and State Street Corp. agreed to form a joint venture, with $200 billion in assets under management, aiming to propel sales of 401(k) retirement-plan services. The new venture, owned 50/50 by the two companies, will be called CitiStreet. Citigroup has been slow to make enter the retirement business. But the bank has a widespread distribution network that could help spread the services State Street sells. Those services include plan administration and the issuing of statements, supported by State Street's large and hard-to-replicate computer plant. The new company is expected to generate revenue of more than $300 million next year. State Street's Global Advisors unit will contribute its 401(k) business and Wellspring Resources, its benefits-administration business. Citigroup will contribute its Copeland Cos. retirement-plan business.

Performance or goodies?
From TheStreet.com
Ron Baron's funds aren't currently delivering high performance but he might offer investors ski lift tickets! In his funds' Dec. 1 shareholder report, he says he might offer shareholders discounts on lift tickets or other consumer goodies offered by the companies in which his funds invest. Baron's mid-cap growth funds, the $5.9 billion Baron Asset, which he manages, and the $439 million, team-managed Baron Growth, are currently behind their peers. In a report, Baron wrote that "cool deals," such as discounts on sothebys.com commissions, lift tickets at a Vail resort or rooms at Sun International hotels, could be on the way. Fund marketers say the agreement could raise the funds' image by associating it with upscale brands. 

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